What to look for in a DES provider
So the Australian Government has told you to choose a Disability Employment Services (DES) provider? With so many providers out there (137 across Australia!), some with certain specialties and others offering more general services, how do you know which one is right for you?
Before you choose, what even is a DES provider?
DES providers help Australians with disability, injury or mental health conditions to find meaningful work and stay in work. The Australian Government offers this service at no cost to job seekers, available through employment services providers like atWork Australia and many others.
This is the most important thing to look for – you need a Disability Employment Services provider who will listen to you. Without this, your experience will not be right for your needs.
A good Disability Employment Services provider will put you at the heart of what they do; listening to you to understand your unique situation.
Once they have listened, only then should your DES provider work with you on a plan, taking into account your goals, family requirements, skills and capacity to work and matching their services to your goals and needs.
A great DES provider will appoint a dedicated Job Coach to work with you.
You can think of this person like a sporting coach or personal trainer, only they will coach you to meet your employment goals. Your coach should listen to your needs, and then work with you to create a plan to help you meet your goals. They will go at your pace, connect you with any training or other resources you may need, introduce you to great employers and continue to support you in the workplace if you require it. It’s also your Job Coach who should make sure you’re prepared for each step of your plan.
Telling your story over and over to different people will never be as effective.
Your job search should be as easy and simple as possible, with flexible options available to you. Life is pretty complicated without your job search becoming unnecessarily bogged down in paperwork or communication challenges.
Look for a DES provider who supports you to meet Australian Government requirements, while offering you options to meet in a way that best suits your lifestyle (face-to-face, phone, Skype, FaceTime are just some options). They should also be able to work with you in a culturally appropriate way, with understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, and an ability to support people from non-English speaking backgrounds.
What’s more your provider’s location should be accessible and close to other services you use and need, public transport or your home.
Your DES provider should bring a lot of belief to their job. Belief in you and your potential. Belief in the power of the right job to transform lives. And access to tools that can support you to build great attitude and self-belief.
Even if you are already very confident in yourself and your abilities, with the right tools your provider can help you build this even more. If you sometimes doubt yourself, then finding a Disability Employment Services provider who believes in you and can work with you to build your own belief is even more important.
Once you and your Job Coach have a plan, you need a provider who can connect you to employers who are ready to hire; as well as provide any help you may need to connect with Government and community support. It’s a great idea to ask providers about how they match people to the services and support they need.
How can you tell which DES to call?
You can find out more at www.jobaccess.gov.au or check out providers’ websites. Keep an eye out for success stories and what current and past people who have used the provider have to say about the service.
Once you have a shortlist, give them a call and have a chat. If you feel listened to, you can already tick off point number one!
We’d be delighted if you chose us!
Of course we want you to choose atWork Australia and we truly believe we offer all of the above. At atWork Australia, you are at the heart of what we do; we match our services to your goals and needs. Our wish is for every Australian to have access to employment that suits them, their skills, goals and needs.
No matter which DES provider you choose, we wish you the very best luck in your job search!